November 04, 2006

When good yarn goes bad

The hedgehog, after spending several weeks in solitary confinement (otherwise known as the bottom of one of my many knitting bags) decided it wanted another shot at felting. Or rather, Richard starting picking it up and putting it on his hand like a puppet and making it move its little paws around and screech (in a high, squeaky voice) "Felt me! Felt me!" So this morning I tossed it into the washing machine with a pair of old sneakers (the same sneakers which were instrumental in the felting of the pumpkin basket last week). I set it on the lowest water setting, and on the hottest temperature and I ran it through. Twice. And yet, it refuses to felt. At this point I am thinking that maybe this is just a hedgehog with a very Negative Attitude, because this makes no sense. It was made from feltable wool. I didn't knit it too tightly. Everyone else who used the same wool managed to felt their little hedgehogs just fine. Everything else I have ever tried to felt in that exact same washing machine, using one of the many techniques I have tried has felted quite happily. So it just has to be that this particular hedgehog might possibly be cursed. I cannot help but find the humor in this situation, even as I wonder just why it is that this hedgehog stubbornly insists on remaining its original size.

I am going to make a little swatch of the same wool and see if that will felt all by itself, just in case, for some bizarre reason, the manufacturer mislabeled a skein of superwash. There is also still the option of attempting to hand-felt the recalcitrant little critter, but I think that'll wait til after I see how the swatch cooperates. And in the meantime we are all having lots of fun discussing what to do with the Hedgehog That Would Not Felt (maybe we can pass it around to felting newbies, just to drive them crazy. Or offer a prize to the person who can find a way to make it play nice. heh).

In other news, after finishing off the Beaded Rib socks, I had nothing on the needles (except for the long-suffering bear rug, which languishes in the laundry room for weeks on end because knitting with four strands of fun fur at a time just isn't as fun as it sounds), and last night was First Friday Craft Night. Add to that the fact that the hot pink Fuzzy Feet I made for myself a year or two ago have developed annoying little holes in the soles (Richard's grey ones are also wearing through), and what else could I cast on for next but a new pair of felted slippers. And while I had grand plans, originally, of rummaging through the stash and pulling out random bits of wool to make a multicolored pair of Fuzzy Feet, I checked the yardage on my lovely orange sherbet dyed yarn, discovered it was exactly the right amount, and, armed with my swift, ball winder, and trusty kitchen scale, turned it into two little yarn cakes for slipper construction.

I am thinking that this time, when the slippers are felted (ha! Take that, hedgehog of doom!), I will also invest in a bottle of puffy paint, so as to give us some non-skid soles. Felted slippers and carpet-free floors (lubricated by the occasional well-placed hairball) do not a safe environment make.

Posted by Jenipurr at November 4, 2006 08:59 AM

I recommend boiling. Not that I know from first hand experience, but Suffolk does, indeed, felt when boiled....

Posted by: Sachi at November 5, 2006 01:20 AM

My washing machine felts EVERYTHING. My booga bag came out much smaller than intended with just one cycle. In my last couple of attempts at felting, I knit the original to about 20-25% bigger to get the needed size. So, if you can't make it work in your machine, I'd be happy to give it a try.

Posted by: JJ at November 5, 2006 11:13 AM

Have you tried alternating the hothothot washes with a cold one in between? Sometimes works when normal methods fail.
Do we get to see a photo of hedgehog even in his unfelted state?

Posted by: catsmum at November 5, 2006 11:52 PM

Oh my gosh did I get a good laugh out of the boiling comment. I just pictured the hedge hog in a BIG pot on the stove.

Posted by: Mary at November 6, 2006 08:35 AM

Am I the only one now having flashbacks from the infamous bunny scene in Fatal Attraction? (grin)

Posted by: Jenipurr at November 6, 2006 08:39 AM

I think boiling might be an option, but it would be more to punish the recalcitrant little thing than last ditch felting.

Maybe it did get mislabeled. Maybe it's the Demonic Unfeltable Hedgehog of Impending Doom.

Posted by: Carrie K at November 6, 2006 04:06 PM